UPDATE 2-Oil surge helps Toronto stocks jump 120 pts

Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:01pm EST
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TORONTO Feb 11 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index rose more than 120 points on Monday as energy firms followed a strong rise in crude and natural gas prices.

U.S. oil futures shot up more than 2 percent to above $94 a barrel in response to a threat from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to cut off oil supplies to the United States. For details, see: [nN09548263]

TSX oil and gas firms, which represent about 25 percent of the overall index, climbed 1.6 percent on the prospect of a ramp up in demand from the United States, the world's top fuel consumer.

Overall, the S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE was up 129.51 points, or 1 percent, at 13,118.85 by early afternoon. It had been relatively flat for much of the morning.

Natural gas futures also rose, helping to lift EnCana ECA.TO C$1.45 to C$68.70, and Suncor Energy SU.TO C$2.00 to C$96.79.

Materials shares, including miners and metals producers, also added some leverage, rising 1.8 percent amid firm gold and base metal prices.

Fertilizer producer Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO was the biggest weighted gainer, up C$5.80 at C$143.22.

Other sectors in positive terrain included utilities, up 0.6 percent, and information technology, up 1.9 percent.   Continued...